April 28, 2009 - BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the global design consultancy with studios in Los Angeles, Munich and Singapore, provides a full array of services such as brand communications, strategy, design development and modeling to clients across a spectrum of industries including Transportation (including both Aviation and Automotive), Lifestyle and Recreation, and the Environment. In the Technology, Consumer Electronics and Gaming sectors, DesignworksUSA collaborates with many of the industry’s greatest icons and trailblazers; in the past three years alone, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Thermaltake have all turned to DesignworksUSA to help shape their products and express their brand. Earlier in the firm’s client history, an impressive cache of pioneering brands such as Intel, Nokia, Magellan, and Motorola called upon DesignworksUSA to help make their now-legendary impact.
For its most recent work with Microsoft Corporation, the creation of an “Industrial Design Toolkit” for 250 OEM and ODM hardware manufacturing partners worldwide, DesignworksUSA received a prestigious IF Award in 2008. This toolkit provides PC designers with guidelines for creating hardware that visually connects with the Windows Vista software experience. For the creation of the “Industrial Design Toolkit,” DesignworksUSA assembled a large, multi-disciplinary team with experts from Industrial Design, Engineering, Communication Design, 3D Modeling, Color & Material Design, and Design Strategy. The DesignworksUSA team began with a comprehensive strategy phase that included evaluating the brand values of Microsoft, the future product values of Windows Vista, and an analysis of future trends in computing. Out of the strategy phase, the team created the vision for a hardware “design language” that included harmony and balance through classic proportions; a sense of depth and sophistication with planar surfaces and layering; a sophisticated, energetic surface with pure geometry and sensual forms; a presence and intelligence through focus on points of interaction; and a quality, respect, and discipline in design details. Custom colors and materials were developed with suppliers and copyright protected as unique and owned by Microsoft. The hardware design language was applied to the physical design of the toolkit itself: a 16 inch by 9 inch box, milled out of clear acrylic glass, which included material samples, digital fonts and icons, and two hardbound books, communicating the emotional and tactical aspects of the project.
Over the course of a five-year relationship, DesignworksUSA has collaborated with Hewlett-Packard (HP) on more than forty projects, resulting in everything from cameras and televisions to printers for both consumer and business applications. In each case these products have embodied the HP brand attributes: inventive, human, optimistic, dynamic, trustworthy and quality-driven. Likewise each product incorporates a deep understanding of how design, human factors, and technology must interact. Some of the key products include the Scanjet N9120 scanner; the Officejet All-In-One J6480 range of printer-scanner-copiers for home offices and micro businesses; and the Photosmart B8550 Printer for the high-end consumer photography market. Their latest collaboration, the HP Z800 Workstation, was launched in March 2009 and is designed to meet the needs of some of the most compute-intensive industries, including animation, graphic design, architecture, photography, high-definition video, manufacturing, finance, scientific imaging and oil and gas exploration. In the words of Digital Producer Magazine, the HP Z800 Workstation “does exude an aura of power with a functional design that works,” and offers “form and function, simultaneously.”
The Gaming industry is a sector that is driven by visionary creativity, innovation and progressiveness. However, who inspires the Gaming industry, and how does one set trends in a sector that is - in itself - the embodiment of progressive thinking and imaginativeness? One answer to that question is the Thermaltake “Level 10” Gaming Tower prototype that debuted in March, 2009. Thermaltake, a leading high end gaming tower manufacturer, challenged BMW Group DesignworksUSA’s Munich studio to create a design that would appeal to customers and differentiate from brands and products within the gaming tower market, balancing a mix of
usability, innovation, and iconic design. The “Level 10″ concept allows gamers to experience the power of their high-end computers through its design, which draws its styling cues from the computer world; expressiveness, virtual townscapes and futuristic game components. By delivering an iconic architectural design statement, BMW Group DesignworksUSA created an innovative high performance gaming tower, enhancing the overall product offering and reinforcing the leading position of Thermaltake in their market.
Further DesignworksUSA collaborations of note with clients in Technology and Consumer Electronics include:
Nokia; a decade-long relationship which included the design of the Nokia 9210 Communicator (introduced in 2000)
Intel, (2003); for the design of a “show product” to bring to visual life to Intel’s PMP processor and to showcase the product potential for Intel’s OEMs. This project was a “2003 Good Design Award” winner.
Motorola, (2003); design of the Motorola Iden, a feature-rich high-end business phone. This product was also a “2003 Good Design Award” winner.
Magellan, (2004?); design of the Magellan Roadmate 700 car-to-car, all-in-one portable navigation system.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA provides brand communications, strategy, research, design development, engineering, and parameters for finished product including modeling, color and materials to many of the world’s great brands. In addition to being the creative partner to BMW Group, which includes BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, additional DesignworksUSA clients include Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing Business Jets, Embraer, Advanced Medical Optics and Bavaria Yachts. The company was founded in 1972 by Charles W. Pelly in Malibu, California, and acquired by BMW Group in 1995. Since 2004, President Verena C. Kloos has overseen DesignworksUSA’s strategy and operations, which now includes design studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore. With global resources and clients across a spectrum of forward-thinking industries, DesignworksUSA has an unparalleled understanding of consumers and the world of design that surrounds them, both today and many years into the future. www.designworksusa.com
Marketing and Communications Manager
BMW Group DesignworksUSA
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